Heart-Broken Lover

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-19-2009
Heart-Broken Lover
Thu, 10-17-2013 - 4:13pm

My 25-year old marriage had been falling apart for years. I just didn't have the wherewithall to realize that it was time to divorce. Every year, I did what I could to keep the marriage going, for my sake, for finances, and for the sake of our children. Every year I kept hoping that our relationship would get better, but it never did.

Then I met him. A man who turned me on like no other man had since before I was married. I knew he had a girlfriend in another state but I didn't care. She was so far away and they were carrying on a long-distance relationship. He was probably lonely ... and horny. He paid attention to me, devouring me with his eyes, flattering me, and generally making me feel like I could do no wrong. I foolishly let myself fall in love with him, but I never let on about my feelings, knowing that I was married and knowing that I could never commit adultery and be able to look at myself in the mirror. Sex was out of the question, but I ached for him.

We spent time together because we worked together. The relationship was purely professional with hints of flirting but nothing out of line. We became friends. Then, the place where we worked closed. We both lost our jobs. He planned to move out of town, back near his girlfriend. At one point we went out together, a simple dinner, he picked me up and paid. My husband was out of town. During the course of our unbelievably great conversation, I got lost in his hazel-green eyes. The time flew by. Before I knew it, it was time to go. He did not make a pass or hint at any romantic interest, but he did remark that he didn't connect that way with just anyone and suggested we should go out one more time before he left. He never made any more overtures and I'm the kind of woman who will not pursue a man. If he wants me, he has to let me know. This one didn't. He left town without saying goodbye. We are Facebook friends, but that is the extent of our contact.

Long story short, I knew it was time to divorce my husband. Forget about the other man, just the fact that I could fall so hard for someone so unavailable -- it was a wakeup call. We're separated now and in the process of divorcing. I should have gotten out long ago, while I was still young and had my life ahead of me, but I guess getting out in middle age is better than nothing. There is no hope for our marriage, no hope of reconciliation, and I'm fine with that. Truthfully, I don't have any feelings for my husband one way or the other. For so many years he was more like a roommate and a safety net. He left me alone most of the time which was horrible. When he didn't leave me alone we fought. I think it is better to be alone and really be alone than to be alone and be married.

But then there's my "friend." He lives in another state near his girlfriend. From what I can glean online, they seem extremely happy together. Their relationship has progressed to the point where she feels comfortable having him around her children. It looks pretty serious.

I cannot get this man out of mind. I have tried everything, even telling myself that he was only nice to me because he wanted to sleep with me, and that if I had wanted to seduce him I could have had him, but at what price? Because we worked together, I feel like I know him, and I keep reminding myself of all his bad qualities, but it doesn't help me and I continue to obsess over him. I know it's wrong of me to obsess over him but I can't help myself. I know in my head that I will never see him again but my heart won't let go of the longing and in weak moments, I fantasize that he will break up with his girlfriend and come back to me. This is so stupid, I can't even begin to express the depth of stupidity involved, but I can't stop myself.

Please help me. I need to find a way to get over him. Whenever I see him in pictures, I ache for him all over again, and I HATE his girlfriend, even though I don't know the woman. She is probably a very nice person. There are days when I am happy for him but sad for me, days when I am in complete lala land over him, and days when I think I am done obsessing about him, only to find that I haven't. Does anyone have any advice for me?

Please don't suggest that I contact him to tell him how I feel because I can't. He's happy with his girlfriend and it wouldn't make a difference. I would end up feeling foolish. And while I'm in the throes of divorce, I need to keep my dignity. There has to be a better way to handle this. I just don't know what it is.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Thu, 10-17-2013 - 4:42pm

Unfriend him on Facebook. You are torturing yourself by following his progress with his gf. Hopefully that will help you to accept that he has moved on in his life, and that you are not a part of it. And good for you for not giving in to temptation with him. If you had, you would really be upset now.

Distract yourself with other activities and people. I don't mean to start dating, just fill your time and your life and give yourself other companions to think about. Eventually you will think about him less, then not at all.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 10-17-2013 - 9:14pm

I totally agree.  It's hard not to think about him if you're looking at his pictures all the time.  I think when you are getting a divorce, it's scary to be alone and not know what the future is going to bring, so you use some of your mental energy to distract yourself by thinking about this guy all the time.  When I got divorced, I developed a crush on my boss, who was my age & single.  In the back of my mind, I really knew he was not for me, but it was a diversion.  I think when you start doing other things and making new friends, you won't have so much time to think about your ex-coworker.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-19-2009
Sun, 10-20-2013 - 11:33am

I really need the words "accept that he has moved on with his life and you are not part of it" to sink in. I am not a part of his life in any way, shape or form. Only he has the power to change that and has chosen not to. I have to accept that and move on. Thank you.

BTW, don't think that I'm some kind of wallflower. If circumstances indicated that a little pursuing on my part was in order, I would coyly give chase. But he has never given me any reason to think we might have a shot at a romantic relationship, and in that respect, there is nothing tangible to pursue.

I also agree that he was a distraction during a painful process in which I was trying to decide whether I should stay in my marriage. He became the object of my affection because he paid attention to me, but only as a friend, or someone who wanted a friend with benefits. I need to keep that in mind as well. I also think that apart from the intense sexual attraction, we probably are not well-suited for one another. I think I delude myself with the fantasy of how we would be as a couple when the reality is likely far different. I am probably dodging a bullet and don't even realize it.

I don't know if I will unfriend him but I will definitely change my settings so that his updates don't appear in my newsfeed. As long as I resist the urge to visit his profile that should be enough to stop torturing myself.

Both replies have suggested I start focusing on new relationships and activities. I am not ready to date, but I do socialize quite a bit and try to keep myself busy. I keep meeting single men who don't interest me and when I see what's out there, I am pretty discouraged. I feel like the only way I will ever truly stop thinking about him and move on is if I meet someone just as interesting, but again, not ready to date and not ready to really put myself out there, i.e., sign up for dating sites and ask friends to fix me up.

Is there anything else? Some technique or ways that other people have gotten over unrequited love? Anything else I could tell myself to help me move on?

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2012
Thu, 11-28-2013 - 10:01am
Been there, done that. Got the tshirt. What you feel is not love. You have just re-awakened the part of you that died long ago. When we are in long term relationships, we do what we have to do to survive. We don't see a better way or even realize there is a better way. We stay for all sorts of reasons that we can justify. We forget there is happiness, joy and love out there. We forget we deserve it and we can have it again. Now, 3 1/2 years later, I have met a wonderful man. He is supportive and loving, generous and kind, funny, intelligent and wants me to be happy. He is a partner. I am not someone to be kicked around and treated like the dirt under his shoe. There is passion and there is friendship. Every day he shows me I am loved. Not in the big things, but in the little things. You will make all sorts of mistakes on the road to finding love again. Just don't marry them! Don't beat yourself up about them. When the right person walks into the room, it will make it all worth it. Take some time to realize that he is gone. But HE never was. He was just the person to show you what the possibilities are awaiting you. Once you realize that. You will be able to let go and start moving towards a better life. Don't hang on to what someone else has. Go get your own! Focus on the divorce. Focus on yourself. When you are ready, start dating again. You are not hanging onto a real person right now. You are hanging onto a dream, a vision, that you had forgotten you once had. If you can visualize it, it can happen again. With the right person. Married 20+ years. I met a man that showed me I could be loved at the end of my marriage. I attached myself to that man. Was devastated when it didn't work out. It was never going to work out for all sorts of reasons. What I came to realized was he came into my life to show me what was possible. I did not need to live in misery and
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-17-2014
Fri, 01-17-2014 - 10:50pm

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-15-2014
Sat, 03-15-2014 - 11:57pm

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